Martin’s early Christmas treat for fans

(The Philippine Star) - December 4, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Martin Nievera’s gifts to fans, this one included, are his gift of gab and gift of performing. Martin playing Santa Claus for a night had given these early Christmas presents on the first day of the most wonderful time of the year, to borrow a line from that popular Yuletide song, via the show Martin: Home for Christmas at the Solaire’s The Theatre.

This was Martin’s second performance after his September show titled, Martin, Home at The Theatre. He was the first Solaire-produced artist, followed by Regine Velasquez and Lani Misalucha. 

The musical experience reminded you of Martin’s TV shows, Martin After Dark and Martin Late@Night, where he was intimately talking to you and the guests and engaging televiewers with his funny antics and witty repartees which sit well with everyone. Definitely, the singing part was not to be missed.

Martin and his long-time friend, musical director Louie Ocampo crafted a repertoire that a Martin follower looks for, you know, forgetting all the cares in the world and just remembering the good old days. This was beautifully executed with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.  

The show started with an overture mixing Martin’s signature songs with Tonight, signaling that you were definitely in for Martin’s brand of entertainment. Everyone was reminded that Christmas is fast approaching when he sang Andy William’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.

It was followed by Pain, Martin’s early hit, which the audience was very familiar with. Then, he gave his own rendition of On The Wings of Love, another familiar song because of James Reid and Nadine Lustre’s primetime night series. From ballads, Martin shifted to singing The Christmas Song.

The spot of Franco and the Bridge Kids and Martin’s duet with twin sister Vicky of After All were definitely enjoyable. Matteo Guidicelli showed off his singing chops in Corner of the Sky with Martin. Matteo’s voice sounded more for musical theater. KZ Tandingan’s vocal calisthenics and experimentation and Macoy’s guitar talent gave a different musical texture to the show. KZ did Adele with “electronic-enhanced” voice, and rapping.

Meanwhile, Martin’s segment (Everybody Wants to Rule the World) with son Robin was also in the fave list. They jammed together — Martin and Robin providing the vocals with the latter strumming the guitar. Everyone got inspired with Robin’s Stay Strong.

The most applauded parts were when Martin displayed his full and clear baritone voice in How Can I? (an all-time favorite “moving-on” song), Kahit Isang Saglit, (his most painful and magical tune, according to Martin in an interview), Say That You Love and Ikaw Lang Ang Mamahalin (another poignant song of the night). The songs put the audience in silence and contemplation, listening to each lyric and wiping the tears away as Martin sincerely told every story, showing empathy for those who have gone through and are experiencing such emotions. This speaks of Martin’s other gift — which is connecting with listeners.

Aside from tunes that tug at one’s heart, Martin had a medley of Original Pilipino Music (OPM) songs. He did Ric Segreto (Don't Know What to Do), Nonoy Zuñiga (Never Ever Say Goodbye) and Basil Valdez (You). As we all know, Martin did follow in their footsteps and is still making good music.

The last medley that Martin did was Broadway, filled with tunes from West Side Story, The Phantom of the Opera, Evita, Jekyll & Hyde, Cats, The Sound of Music and Carousel. He performed all the big songs from the musicals (like Maria/Somewhere, All I Ask of You, Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina, This is The Moment, Memories, Climb Every Mountain and You'll Never Walk Alone) without missing a note.

Living up to his show’s title, Martin sang his own Christmas songs like Christmas Won’t Be The Same Without You and All I Want (This Christmas).

Martin: Home for Christmas ended with Martin doing an encore of Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and hits Be My Lady and You Are My Song.



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